Dried Shrimp: Camarón Seco

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Dried Shrimp: Camarón Seco

Dried shrimp are used not only for the Caldo de Camarón, or Shrimp Soup or Broth. They are  also used to make shrimp patties that are then bathed in different mole sauces. Also to prepare tamales, rice, bean and potato dishes.  Even some salsas that used them ground as a seasoning and thickening base.

Dried shrimp come in different sizes, from the miniature ones smaller than 1/2″ to much larger ones bigger than 3″. Because they are lightly cooked, then salted and left to dry in the sun, they concentrate their flavor intensely and deeply. They are also quite salty.

In Mexico, you can find them in outdoor markets as well as mainstream grocery stores. Here in the US, I’ve found them in Asian and Latin stores. They are also easy to find online.  However, go for those that have this light pale color. Don’t go for the pink or red kind that seem too lump and meaty. Good quality dried shrimp should be almost flat and colorless. They have been dehydrated, so that’s what they should look like.

They last in the pantry for months and months and are considered, just like dried chiles, almost a spice. To use them, they are typically soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes, rinsed, drained, heads and legs removed and then cooked. They have an unmistakeable and unique strong flavor.

7 comments on “Dried Shrimp: Camarón Seco

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  1. Hola Pati: Me encanta tu show. No me lo pierdo. Gracias por compartir tus recetas con nosotros.
    Gracias tambien por traernos paisajes tan hermosos de Mexico . Maria de Lourdes Zendejas

  2. Hola Pati, you can find dry Shrimp & Fish almost all swamp meets in California. It’s $30. A pound by when you want it you buy it. Love it.

  3. Hola Pati,
    I’m a mexican who lives in Australia. Sea food is wonderful here… but fresh.
    Would you know how to make dry shrimp at home.
    It’s almost imposible to find it dry.

    1. ​Oh, then you should make the fish with fresh shrimp, but make sure to peel them! Make the broth with the heads, shells and tails, and then add shrimp on the end :)​

  4. Mrs. Jinich, Since watching your show, you have greatly inspired me to cook with more flair and ease. I had fallen into a rut, easy but not so wonderful. My Mother was an amazing cook, whether it was Mexican food or Asian, American, etc. My Mother, was a fantastic cook. You remind me of her, in that she was a cut above. Everyone said so. One item, I miss is her Tortas de Camaron, with a Nopales sauce. I have rarely had them out, I haven’t been successful in years. I am divorced, but my first husband was from Mexico, and to date, after 20 years divorced, he first mentions how much he misses my great cooking! A gift I had to cultivate from Momma, but it was as I was so used to eating good! Your style dispels the common myths about Mexican food that have been magnified by the commercialism of Mexican food. I have had very few Restaurants that are great, two I found in Mexico.
    But have not visited in quite a while. Your thoughts and menus are much anticipated. God Bless you and your family.
    Maria Isabelle Aguirre

    1. Hola Maria, Thank you for your message! I love hearing about your mother’s cooking, and I’m happy you are following in her footsteps!! Keep cooking.